So I’m back from therapy. Glad to have gone but I didn’t want to go today. I even texted my therapist asking if it was this week he had to cancel, knowing it is next week he can’t do. I don’t know what outcome I was expecting from that? I liken it to taking a drug I know has no effect on me, like an antihistamine. I regularly abused travel sickness tablets when that’s all I could get hold of. Knowing full well all it would do was make me drowsy. Not even in a good way. In a lumbering, foggy way. But still I would take a handful, hoping for a differing outcome.
^^ This is me. I am not stupid but I have the MOST stupid, self-destructive side. I often feel like I have a split personality. I spoke about that today. My ability to shut down the sensible, rational voice in my head and throw caution to the wind is extraordinary! I mean, I have literally been caught out in my secret addictive behaviours 6 times over the past 21 months by my partner. It’s not like I am successfully leading this secret life, where my addiction doesn’t affect anyone else (like the oh, so stupid part of my brain like to convince me of.) I have nearly DIED several times from accidental overdoses and suicide attempts at the end of a spiral. My oldest daughter still remembers the date she saw me stretchered out to an ambulance, not breathing and being worked on by paramedics. Actually, on that occasion I was somehow protected from what actually happened to me for a long time. I had no idea how bad it was and how close I came to dying. I felt sure it was just a blip that hadn’t done any lasting damage until years later when I discovered my daughter had been cutting herself and I read her diary to find out what was going on with her.
When I realised what pain she was in and how much she was struggling to process that shit, I immediately got on the case. I spoke to her, telling her I’d broken her trust and read her diary. I told her I had to tell her father, who she lived with, despite her protestations. I forced him to confront the fact that she was hiding her problems without making him feel like he was failing as her as her full-time carer. We dealt with it as co-parents and she began therapy and made a great recovery.
But I caused that. And for a while it was enough to keep me clean. Then the voice telling me that she was safe living with her father and my actions wouldn’t have that effect on her again got loud. I made myself believe that I’d made her all better. That she was protected now.
My older kids may not live with me but the past couple of relapses have most certainly had a detrimental effect. They have been told because for a while Sylvie and Sonny weren’t allowed to visit. They don’t know I attempted suicide. I think that’s too much for them but other than that I have been quite honest and to the point about having a problem with substances.
I confessed to my therapist that I have this awful fantasy about being alone. Having pushed everyone away. Homeless. On the streets and fully able to take ALL the drugs. When I used the word ‘fantasy’, I’m not saying it like it’s something I aspire to. I sound so privileged saying I fantasize about being on the streets. I know how desperate and awful it would be. But…the thought still enters my head regularly. He said it sounded like I see drugs as a relationship. Me and drugs against the world, kind of thinking.
It reminded me of Elton John writing a Dear John letter to cocaine when he got clean.
Drugs and alcohol have been the reason for every negative thing in my life in the last decade (apart from the death of loved ones). Why do I continue to battle with this obvious fact.
We spoke a lot about self-sabotage. My low opinion of myself in terms of my own strength and self-worth. Like, I know I am a good person. I am kind, loving, thoughtful. But I am deeply ashamed of my behaviour past and present in relation to my addictions. I have lied, manipulated, gas-lit my boyfriend. If someone I knew acted in this way I would likely judge them quite harshly and think them weak. So I find it virtually impossible to think of myself positively.
He ended the session saying that until I can see myself as worthy of the kind of life I truly want. Content, clean, anxiety-free, able to vacuum without wanting to smash the hoover to pieces (Yes! We even spoke about my issue with vacuuming), working a part-time job, having a strong and trusting relationship…until I feel confident that I deserve that, I will continue to fuck it up. I will self-sabotage. I will keep perpetuating this self-fulfilling prophecy.
That scares me. I feel like only I know what a total piece of trash I can be. That if people truly knew me they wouldn’t want to know. How do I learn to love myself knowing what I know? My life literally depends on me working this out.
Have any of you gone from self-loathing to self-loving?